Carly Miller · Female Representation · Social Media

‘Two Steps Forward, One Step Back’ by Carly Miller

Why are we still so hesitant to write about Feminism?

“Why aren’t people more excited to write about feminism?” I ask myself as I finish reading yet another text message with “Umm… Thanks, but I don’t really think I could write about that.” Or, “I’ll think about it.”

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I mean, why are we so afraid to sit down at our laptop, in the private of our own coffee shop (or home) and be honest with how much bullshit us women put up with on the daily basis?! I was so excited and my brain burst with stories and ideas of how to reach out and connect with people with my personal experiences with feminism, so I thought the people I reached out to would be on board without a blink of the eye. Turns out I was either left on ‘Read’, lightly let down, or simply ignored. I would understand if it wasn’t July 2017 and the entire world hadn’t just witnessed Hillary Clinton become victim to countless sexist comments and be ignored about her warnings of Prisident Cheeto Head.  However, that is almost, if not exactly what year it is and exactly what happened.

Us women have to stop giving so many shits about what men or other women think about women sticking up for feminism and promoting it. It drives me crazy that there seems to be a trend on Tumblr and Twitter about the “perfect feminist”. When Tumblr got the wind of feminism back around 2012 or so, I remember it was a very aggressive stance, almost shoving it down outsider’s* throats. I recall there was a certain feminist aesthetic that rolled around, short and brightly colored hair, the idea of not shaving facial hair, etc.

** meaning those who either didn’t have a Tumblr, or the side of Tumblr who didn’t care to post about feminism.

Having this sort of “idea” of what a feminist looks like, trickles back to my main theory of society being visual adapters to life and social changes. Thus, creating the “negative” notion against feminism in society’s eyes (which, let’s be clear, what closed minded people think) that feminists might be ugly, that they are oversensitive, and just need to “change their tampon”. Is this why five years later after feminism hit the internet, we still have such a struggle identifying with it? Because anyone and everyone should be able to identify with this social movement, us individuals don’t have an idea in our head to latch on to. Think about it, when I think of:

  1. Super model: Gigi Hadid, Naomi Campbell, Christy Turlington. Not myself, as I am 5’4 and a size 14.
  2. Actor and actresses: Andrew Scott, Emily Blunt, Gina Rodriguez, Kevin Spacey. Not any of my acquaintances who act in a local play for one weekend in the summer.

We can’t identify a sole feminist because any of us can be feminists (and should be). Feminism isn’t an aesthetic. It’s a mindset and a way of life, it is the radical notion that women and men are equal. Why are we so afraid to accept this? And why does social media still have the roots of glamorizing the lifestyle of relying on a man? I see it all the time throughout my timeline of users aspiring to get a sugar daddy, to get rich and to not worry about a thing in life. Yes, the idea of money and being financially comfortable is an amazing thought, to not have any debt and to live in a nice fancy house. But why wouldn’t you want to work for that yourself? Make your own money, and pay off your own debt. Why in the hell would anyone want to put their financial trust in a man? Twitter loves to argue how progressive and socially aware they are but are out here ready to, from some tweets, just quit school and marry rich.

Why are these groups of people so afraid to work hard and achieve their goals? Is it because everyone has taught women that by 22 you should probably have met your future husband, by 26 you should be getting married and by 30 you should have your kids (and that timeline is being generous, I know a girl who said she wanted to be married and have kids by 25). Why is it that all of us, at one point or another, have bought into this fairytale fantasy, and why are we so afraid that it won’t happen?

These are some of the thoughts I believe that are holding back the last few who don’t believe in feminism, or only certain bits of it. Some believe if you’re a feminist you can’t be a wife. That you can’t be a mother, or a housewife. Some of the Twitter users out there are afraid to speak up for their rights of their sex because they are afraid they will sound silly or stupid, or even crazier, that no one will find them “datable” because their points of view is too threatening for the average man. Us women need to stop acting like the damsel in distress to sway a man. Us women need to go after what we want and who we want, no matter what our hair, skin, nails or outfit looks like. We need to stop this bullshit of not looking like a feminist enough and start embracing the notion.